Are College Faculty and First-Generation, Low-Income Students Ready for Each Other?

Schademan, Alfred R.; Thompson, Maris R.
Publication Year:
Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice

Utilizing current research on college readiness as well as the role of cultural agents as a conceptual framework, this qualitative study investigates student and faculty beliefs about readiness and the pedagogical practices that allow instructors to effectively serve as cultural agents for first-generation, low-income students. Three major findings that emerged from the study are as follows: (a) faculty beliefs about student readiness impact the degree to which faculty serve as cultural agents for FGLI students, (b) faculty who serve as cultural agents enact particular practices and dispositions that enable students to become more academically prepared, and (c) FGLI students arrive at college with diverse forms of readiness that require varying forms of nurturing and support. A key implication of the study is that colleges should bear a greater responsibility in supporting faculty and other campus cultural agents in nurturing the success of FGLI students.

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